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Ka-Pow 101: Aldrich Killian and AIM

Iron Man 3 comes out this week and I wanted to share a little comic book background for a couple of things. If you saw my Phase One unboxing, you probably caught a glimpse of a fun little piece of memorabilia: an AIM business card of CEO Aldrich Killian. Check it out: 

So today’s Ka-Pow 101 will address who is Aldrich Killian and what is AIM. Hit the jump to learn more, but keep in mind: any information from the comics may be unintentional spoilers for Iron Man 3.
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Ka-Pow 101: X-Men Days of Future Past

Today we learned that Bryan Singer’s sequel to highly popular X-Men: First Class would be called X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Wait a minute, is that not the same title for the legendary story that Chris Claremont and John Byrne worked on in Uncanny X-Men?

Yes, it is. Singer says that the new movie will take some elements of that story arc but will have new story as well. For those of us who are unfamiliar with the arc, let’s recap one of the most iconic story arcs in X-Men history.

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Ka-Pow 101 – Bane: Behind the Mask

Bane by Ariel Olivetti

The countdown for The Dark Knight Rises is nearing its end. Some of you may still be asking who is Bane and why is he the villain of this film? What happened to the Riddler? Mr. Freeze? The Penguin? Or even the Ventriloquist? Why is Bane the choice for Nolan’s final Batman movie? To understand that, you have to understand who Bane is. Keep in mind as this is the source material for the film, there may be spoilers to what happens in the film. You have been warned.

Before the Bat

Serving a life sentence in place of his father, most of Bane’s life was spent in a prison called Peña Duro. From childhood, Bane learned from the various inmates and a Jesuit priest, honing himself physically and mentally. Versed in strategy and violence, Bane styled himself the king of Peña Duro. The warden became wary of Bane’s power and volunteered him as a subject in an experimental drug called Venom. Where most test subjects died, Bane gained enhanced strength, but he needed to re-administer the drug every 24-hours or else suffer debilitating withdrawals. After freeing some of his prison compatriots, Bane set his sights on Gotham City and the monster known as the Batman.

Breaking the Bat

Upon reaching Gotham, Bane did not directly seek out Batman. Instead, he decided to wear down the Dark Knight systematically. Bane destroyed Arkham Asylum, allowing the escape of many of Batman’s foes. While Batman exhaustively hunted down Gotham’s criminals, Bane consolidated power in the criminal underground. During this time, Bane also discerned Batman’s alter ego, Bruce Wayne. In a final assault, Bane sent his three lieutenants to fight Batman and further wear him down. Then following the assault, he confronted Batman at Wayne Manor where the fight was brutally one-sided. To end the fight, Bane took Batman and broke his back over his knee. Wayne is left defeated and paraplegic.

The Aftermath

Bane remained victorious until the successor to Batman’s mantle, Jean-Paul Valley, defeated him. In the fight, Valley, also known as Azrael, severed the tubes that delivered Venom to Bane’s brain, thus giving him the advantage to defeat Bane. Bane would rehabilitate himself while serving time in Blackgate prison and begin a hunt to discover the identity of his father. This search would lead to a confrontation with the infamous, Ra’s al Ghul. He is appointed as Ra’s’ right hand, and together with Talia al Ghul, they seek to destroy Gotham. During this time, Bane is defeated by Batman in single combat.

Bane – Rising from the Ashes

From THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

Since Ra’s and Bane’s attempt at unleashing a plague on Gotham, Bane has most commonly been portrayed as a thug and hired muscle. In other media, he is also lacking his tactical mind and simply represented as a Venom-powered behemoth, as such was the case in the abysmal Batman & Robin. In the upcoming Dark Knight Rises, Nolan has returned Bane to the tactical and brutal opponent. Nolan has exchanged Venom for a gas-based anesthetic which dulls the pain of a previous injury. Rumor has it that Bane also will have a previous tie to the League of Shadows from Batman Begins.

Recommended Reading:

Batman: Knightfall

Secret Six

Ka-Pow 101: Intro to Galactic Defense

You’ve heard us talk about them on the podcast, and according to Kevin Feige, they are integral to introducing Thanos as the villain of a future Avengers movie. Variety has confirmed it is one of Marvel’s 2014 releases, so you have to ask yourself: just who are the Guardians of the Galaxy?

The Original Team

Clockwise from top: Starhawk, Martinex, Major Victory, Yondu, Charlie-27
Artist: Pasqual Ferry

In1969, the team was created by writer Arnold Drake and penciled by Gene Colan. As a group of freedom fighters in thirty-first century, Vance Astro (Earth), Martinex (Pluto), Charlie-27 (Jupiter), and Yondu (Beta Centauri IV) faced off against the Badoon, an alien race bent on conquering Earth’s solar system. Traveling back and forth in time, the Guardians would eventually defeat the Badoon and face the galactic threat known as Korvac alongside the Avengers. Members of the Guardians who fought in the twentieth century against Korvac even gained honorary Avengers membership. Team membership would also grow to include characters such as Firelord (a herald of Galactus) and Starhawk. Vance Astro would also recover Captain America’s shield and begin operating under the title, Major Victory.

The Modern Team

Clockwise from top: Groot, Star-Lord, Rocket Racoon, Moondragon
Artist: Alex Garner

In 2008, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning followed the success of two major cosmic events with a new series featuring several characters from the events. Following an invasion from the Negative Zone (an anti-matter universe) and a failed conquest of the Kree by Ultron, Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, bands a group together to proactively stop galactic threats. This group consists of:

Adam Warlock – Artificial human with the ability to manipulate cosmic energy

Drax the Destroyer – The spirit of human Arthur Douglas in a new body with the sole purpose of killing Thanos

Gamora – Deadly assassin trained and raised by Thanos; Last survivor of her species

Phyla-Vell – Artificial daughter of Captain Mar-Vell; possessor of the Quantum Bands

Rocket Racoon – Genetically anthropomorphized racoon; space cop

Groot – Alien floral colossus (or Giant Tree Monster); Monarch of Planet X

Later additions include Major Victory (see above) and Moondragon (psionic human daughter of Drax/Arthur Douglas).

What Does This All Mean?

A Guardians of the Galaxy movie featuring this cast of characters allows for both a thorough introduction of Thanos and possibly the items of his desire the Infinity Gems. Drax, Gamora, Moondragon, Adam Warlock, and Thanos have all been possessors of various Infinity Gems as members of the Infinity Watch. Star-Lord, Rocket Racoon, and Groot are simply fan-favorite characters, but Drax, Gamora, Moondragon and Warlock all have pasts linked to Thanos. Phyla-Vell may be a tough transition especially if Marvel ever plans to introduce the Kree and Captain Marvel.

Ka-Pow 101: Looking at Marvel’s Movie Future

As the country has decided to move past the Avengers and onto the rest of the summer movies, I decided to continue informing you about the future of the Avengers movies. Marvel Studios is already working on continuing and expanding the Marvel movie universe. I don’t know all the upcoming details, but I’m going to take this opportunity to speculate based on the information that I do have. We’ll look at movies that have been slated for release, are in development, and are rumored to be made. There will be potential spoilers in this article, but many of these will be based on comic stories. Let’s continue, shall we? Read More…

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